by Mia Kilby
Tanning vs. pale skin has changed through history. If you wish to cast a tanned glamour on yourself (let's not forget the dark evil fairy origin of the word 'glamour') our tanning tips may help.
Tanning has always been a funny subject. Lily-white skin used to be a sign that you didn't have to do manual labour (all that outside work makes you tan), so pale skin was desired. The fair-skinned trend was popular until then end of the Victorian era, when it was discovered that vitamin D (your ready source: The sun) would cure rickets. Bye-bye rickets, hello sunbeams. In the 1920s, Coco Chanel got sunburned on the French Riviera and her friends loved the look - thus tanned skin, rather than pale skin, became the desired look. It once meant you were poor; from the 1920s onwards, a tan meant you were rich enough to go to another country on holiday.
Nowadays, tanning is more a matter of personal taste. However, there is that peculiar golden - not orange, golden - glow that only comes from tanning creams and sunbeds. It's unnatural, but quite an attractive shade. Oddly, that peculiar shade of tan is now sought after even more than the real thing, which is a bit patchy and blotchy and nut-brown through to pinky-red. Do we want it because the celebs have got it, and we subconsciously think this shade makes us more... touched by the hand of glamour?
Let's not forget, too, that 'glamour' was originally a spell that bad fairies cast on you to hypnotise you, or on themselves to appear a darn sight more sexy than they really were.
But let's say you want to cast a glamour on yourself... a little spell that doesn't cost the earth and comes straight out of a bottle...
I really am in two minds about the tanned vs pale debate. On theone hand I'm all for keeping things natural and as nature intended. On the other, in the heat of summer, acres of golden flesh are on show every which way you turn, and the effect of glowing like a grecian godess can look pretty good!
If you are planning on giving your skin a little artificial sun-kiss, where do you start? How does one avoid the unfortunate ompa loompa look? Well, a bit of common sense can help, and knowing how NOT to self-tan is a really important first step. Do not resort to a sunbed to obtain your golden glow. Sunbeds are extremely bad for your skin, can be addictive and will do horrific things aging things to your skin in the long term. Stay away from them. Okay, sunbed rant over...
Ive been applying fake tan for a number of months and now, after trying out a few different brands of self tanner, I've got some tips which may be of relevance to you...
You don't have to buy the most expensive self tanner on the market. Superdrug's own range of self tanning mousses are easy to apply, cost effective and give lovely, natural overall results.
Pre-prepare you body before applying the tanner. Exfoliate and moisturise beforehand. This helps prime your skin in order to absorb the tanner to the best of its ability.
A self-tanning mitt can be purchased which is specifically designed to apply tanner; it helps to smooth the product on and evens out any lines, giving a more natural finish.
Check if the product you are using stains and take any necessary precautions for this.
'Tis pretty simple. If you can't be fussed with taking the DIY route, many beauty salons now offer fake tanning treatments. Prices vary but shop around to find one to suit you. Allow the experts to do their thing.
Golden ramblings aside, while the trend at present is to work that 'all natural' sunkissed look, many women look utterly gorgeous with a paler, more subtley refined complexion. If you want to fake it, go for it. If you don't,then don't feel pressured into it. End of!